Wimbledon 2013: Serena Williams tipped for SW19 glory
Five-time champ Serena Williams will prove far too strong for her Wimbledon rivals, says Barry Cowan.
Last Updated: 23/06/13 1:39pm
The American's weakest surface is clay but, after claiming her second French Open title at Roland Garros last month, she'll be brimming with confidence heading to SW19 next week.
The five-time Wimbledon champion has the best serve I've ever seen in the women's game and she intimidates players and has won 99% of her matches before she walks on court. And, rightly, she's hot favourite to lift another title this month.
But anything can happen in two weeks - she could wake up with a virus, the weather could be a factor, she could get a little jittery... It's certainly not one of those instances when you could say categorically she's going to win it. But, if she's fit, I can't see anyone playing at her level.
Her nearest rivals are of course Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, who have both proved they are great champions, but, after that, it's take your pick; it's quite open beyond those top three.
Agnieszka Radwanska has not been in the same form of late after making the final last year, Petra Kvitova has been all over the place this year and way off the level she was at when she won a couple of weeks ago, while Sara Errani lost 6-0 and all 24 points last year.
Are we going to see a youngster come out of the pack, an unknown quantity, and stun everyone? All of a sudden everything could click for someone but, if you're playing safe - and I think that's the best policy in predicting the outcome of the women's singles - you'd certainly go with Serena to meet Sharapova in the final.
British fans will hopefully be able to cheer a successful run from Laura Robson.
She has a tough opening match against 10th seed Maria Kirilenko but Laura will be expecting good things from herself and that match is likely to be on centre court, where the home crowd can be a factor.
If you look at Laura's performances over the past 12 months, she can beat great players. She proved that at the Australian Open when she beat Kvitova, but she can also have off days and lose matches against people outside of the top level.
I don't know what to expect from her - she could come out and beat Kirilenko 6-2, 6-2 or hit the ball all over the place and make 50 unforced errors. But if she can win that first match there's no reason why she can't have a great Wimbledon - she can make life difficult for anyone.
It will be tougher for Heather Watson, who is still making her way back from her glandular fever lay-off. It's great she's back playing and, although she's not been in her best form, she's playing better in the last week or so. However, defending points from reaching the third round in 2012 and having to play talented American Madison Keys could be tough.
On current form I'd go for Keys to win that but the Brits - which also include Elena Blatacha, Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong, Samantha Murray and Tara Moore - can be inspired from the home crowd to get on a good run.
But they are a long way behind the might of Serena Williams, who I'm tipping to beat Sharapova in the final.